CEBU, Philippines – Hard work, perseverance and faith. These are the three important factors that Emman Monfort has embraced in order to fulfill his dreams of playing pro hoops in the Philippine Basketball Association. This was revealed by Monfort in a talk before the high school student body of the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu in Canduman, Mandaue City.
At 5-foot-6, Monfort stressed that his height did not become an obstacle to reach his dreams. On the contrary, it made him work even harder. He cited that he is the shortest player in the PBA today and the fourth shortest in the history of the league. But this did not stop him from dreaming. “I worked hard at every practice and strived to become better everyday,” Monfort said.
He then added that he had to persevere through all the difficulties that were normal for any basketball player. He cited how was relegated to the Team B of Ateneo de Manila for one season and how he broke his hand three times before he was to make his professional debut with Barako Bull.
“Being in Team B challenged me to become better and I made it back to Team A after a season. When I broke my hand, I told myself not to give up and be ready for the moment when the moment is there. Perseverance is not giving up matter what the circumstances may be,” Monfort exhorted.
When talking about faith, Monfort illustrated how he always believed he would get his time in the PBA. “I had faith in God’s will; and faith in God’s perfect time. We may not agree with what’s happening for us, but by faith, we will see what the grand plan for us will be. In everything, have faith.” Monfort said.
Monfort was invited to address the crowd by his former school president Fr. Manny Uy, S.J. who was on top of the Ateneo de Iloilo – Sta. Maria Catholic School while Monfort was playing high school basketball.
Fr. Manny, as he is fondly called, is now the President of SHS-Ateneo de Cebu and grabbed the opportunity to bring Monfort to the school since he was around for a Barangay Ginebra event.
“Monfort is a good role model for all of us. He was not only a talented basketball player, he was also a good student who proudly carried the colors of the teams which he represented,” Fr. Manny said.
At Ateneo de Manila University, Monfort was part of two UAAP championship teams under Coach Norman Black. He was drafted as the 16th overall pick in the PBA Draft by Barako Bull and was later traded to Barangay Ginebra, his current team.
When asked in a chat with basketball players for his signature move, he quickly replied, “My signature move? Give the ball to a teammate who is open for a shot.”